Rotary and the United Nations Update

In a special report on Corporate Citizenship and Philanthropy, the Financial Times ranks Rotary as the fifth most important partner at the United Nations. This was the result from a survey of more than 400 possible world partners.

The past four months is always the most active at the UN for the Rotary UN Office and the other non-government organizations (NGO) accredited to the Economic and Social Council. It is the time of the annual meetings of the various Commissions - Status of Women, Social Development, Population Development and Sustainable Development. We contributed statements to two of them.
Perhaps our most important contribution was on Sustainable Development. This year the committee's theme is energy and alternate sources such as solar power, wind power and hydro power. Our Rotary club have many projects in the world on alternative power sources.

Rotary's concentration is increasing on water projects; 30% of our 32,000 clubs have various degrees of focus in projects that provide clean and safe drinking water. We have implemented a Rotary Action Group on water and sanitation. The 2008-2009 UN year has been declared to be the UN International Year on Sanitation. We, your Rotary representatives, have attended two important planning meetings to be prepared.

Other meetings we attended were on Global Immunization (UNICEF), Conference on Health and Environment, The General Assembly briefing of NGOs, the ECOSOC meeting on jobs and employment and one on Aid and Trade for the least developed countries.

These are the meetings in New York City at the UN Headquarters. Other Rotary Representatives attended similar meetings in Geneva, Paris, Nairobi, Rome and Addis Ababa.

The months ahead will involve many meetings and conferences on climate change, and planning our annual Rotary Day at the U.N. on November 3. Stay tuned!

Sylvan Barnet